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Jasper City Council Meeting

From the Dubois County Free Press:

The Jasper City Council held its regular meeting Wednesday night and heard a brief presentation from CityVisions and Gamble & Associates concerning the Downtown Master Plan.

Plan calls for enhancing a designated area that includes the Square, portions of Sixth Street, Main Street, Jackson Street and Mill Street, the river area near the German American Blvd and Train Depot including converting portions of E. Second Street into “River Street” as an attraction.

The plan also calls for the construction of a structure on the north bank of the Patoka River as an attraction and puts forth some ideas to deal with the 500,000 square feet of open industrial space in the designated area through conversion to hotels, living areas, or attractions.

The plan creates a connection between the downtown area and the Riverwalk and integrates the arts and history into the mix. The firms will provide an action plan for the city to use as a guide for implementation.

Some parts of the plan can be done by the city with its current resources; other parts will require public/private partnerships.

The two firms will present the completed Downtown Master Plan during a public meeting in November. The firms stated they have never seen so much public interest and participation from a city the size of Jasper.

The Council also approved a resolution to accept the donation of 110 S. Main Street from Mike and Pat Hochgesang. The house is in the Frogtown area of Jasper near the Patoka River, which is in the flood zone. The city attempted, but was unable to, qualify for a grant through FEMA to purchase properties to remove houses from the area.

The Hochgesangs bought the property out of foreclosure and donated it to the City. Both police and fire departments have said that they would use the building for training before it is demolished.

Ordinance No 2013-31 was presented to the Council to amend how houses, buildings and structures are numbered in the city. Homeowners are required to place 4-inch numbers on their property. Additionally, if the building is a residence and is more than 75 feet from the road, numbers have to be attached to a fixture near the street.

Also approved last night was Ordinance 2013-33 – the 2014 salary ordinance that gives raises to the utility employees. And finally, the Council approved Ordinance 2013-34, which amends the water utility ordinance.

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